ABB Supplier Sustainability Development Program (SSDP)


Responsible sourcing

Standardized processes, building relationships

ABB is committed to improving its supply base. Our strategy is geared towards building relationships with best-in-class suppliers in the areas of sustainability, business ethics, quality, on-time delivery and total cost, ensuring compliance with ABB standards and continuous sustainable improvement.

ABB is, therefore, committed to providing skilled resources to support our suppliers’ development and enable them to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. Together, this moves us towards our goal to provide our customers with a competitive and sustainable supply chain.

ABB’s Supplier Sustainability Development Program (SSDP) helps us to focus our efforts further to support improvement in the sustainability performance of our suppliers. The program prioritizes suppliers according to a risk matrix combining country risk, commodity risk based on operations characteristics, criticality of the supplier and spend volume. Training on sustainability priorities is provided for both suppliers and ABB employees, on-site assessments evaluate performance status, and improvement plans are monitored to ensure timely completion. We focus on tier one suppliers in priority countries, mainly Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa.

Expanding activities in 2015

During 2015, we launched the SSDP assessment program in Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam and expanded the SSDP to Poland with training sessions and on-site assessments. The ABB internal assessor program continued, with additional supply chain specialists in Brazil, China and India obtaining third-party certification.

We also enhanced support material for the program during 2015 with the launch of SSDP e-learning courses for suppliers and providing local translations of SSDP training material for Indonesia, Poland, Thailand and Vietnam. E-learnings on responsible sourcing and the SSDP were also developed for ABB employees during the year, while training on root cause analysis and action plan preparation was conducted for ABB teams.

The following table summarizes SSDP activities during 2015 and achievements since the start of the program.

a Historical data has been corrected following internal review
a1 Reported as 777 in the ABB Sustainability Performance Report 2015. Historical data corrected after internal review
b Number does not include reassessments
 Supplier Sustainability Development Program 2015        2010 - 2015
 Number of ABB employees trained  259         1,634a 
 Number of suppliers trained  421         3,222a
 Number of suppliers assessedb  179           761a1
 Number of risks identified  441         1,523
 Number of risks mitigated  311            986

While ABB focuses on working with suppliers to improve performance, there are consequences for suppliers unwilling to align their performance standards with ABB requirements. During 2015, 20 suppliers were blocked due to unsatisfactory progress on their corrective action plans, bringing the total number of blocked suppliers to 43.

Moving forward in 2016

We will continue to scale up and replicate the SSDP in 2016, with plans to roll out the program in Argentina, Colombia, Peru and Turkey. Training for suppliers will be further enhanced with the development of new training materials and an increased number of trainings.

More information and useful links